Have you always wanted to combine your love of Aussie music, giving back to the community and camping under the stars? Then look no further than Queensland’s historic music festival, the Gympie Music Muster.
Held in the Amamoor Creek State Forest in the Mary Valley near Gympie, Queensland, this four-day musical delight has something for everyone, and will run from 24 to 27 August. The Muster showcases a mix of country, roots, blues and country rock music, as well as workshops, dancing, bush poets, kids’ club and more.
And while you’re there, you should check out everything this diverse Queensland region has to offer, including the diverse Gympie region, Noosa and the Sunshine Coast and K'Gari (Fraser Island).
Since starting in 1982 as a community fundraiser, the festival has grown into one of Australia’s most recognised and iconic fundraising events, visited by Australians from all around the country. Proudly owned by the Apex Club of Gympie, the Muster’s fundamental mission is still the same: to raise funds for those in need within the community.
Founded by the Webb Brothers, in its 40-year history the festival has returned more than $20 million to community groups and charities and has held more than 2500 performances, including Aussie country royalty Slim Dusty, who has a camping area named in his honour. In 1986, the then named Commonwealth Bank Country Music Muster won the Queensland tourism award for ‘Best Festival’ and its popularity and reputation has only grown since.
The Wolfe Brothers
Get your dancing shoes and sing-a-long lungs ready, because this year’s Gympie Muster will feature more than 100 Aussie artists, including Adam Brand, The Angels, Ash Grunwald, Ashleigh Dallas, Brooke McClymont and Adam Eckersley, Busby Marou, Caitlyn Shadbolt, Casey Barnes, Chad Morgan, Don Walker, Felicity Urquhart and Josh Cunningham, Gina Jeffreys, Hoodoo Gurus, James Blundell, Kasey Chambers, Melinda Schneider, Sara Storer, The Screaming Jets, Sunny Cowgirls, Travis Collins, Troy Cassar-Daley, The Wolfe Brothers and many more! This year’s event will also welcome US country music favourites Midland and Canadians Gord Bamford and Dan Davidson.
To find information on the full line-up, the full program and playing times, visit www.muster.com.au.
Live music isn’t the only thing the Gympie Music Muster offers. Included in the four days is a large variety of workshops and events that will keep the whole family busy, including ukulele workshops, line dancing, bush poets’ breakfast, rock ‘n’ roll dancing and more. There’s also a variety of activities and entertainment for the kids — keep an eye out on the festival’s social media pages (Gympie Music Muster) for more information.
There’s also a wide range of food and drink options at the Muster, with gluten-free and vegan options available. And if you’re in the mood for shopping, there are market stalls offering fashion, jewellery, gifts and plenty of mementos of your Muster visit.
You can currently purchase a four-day festival pass for $475 ($185 for teens and free for children under 12), which includes entry to the festival for all four days and general camping from 19 to 28 August.
The Muster operates a cashless purchasing system for bar and some food stalls. Each patron will receive a wristband which includes a chip when they first enter the festival precinct, they then need to go to a designated Exchange Booth to load money onto it. Or you can avoid queues and pre-purchase your credits from the website and they will be loaded onto your armband at the festival gate.
HOW TO FIND THE MUSTER
The Gympie Music Muster is held in the Amamoor Creek State Forest, approximately 40km south-west of Gympie. It’s a two-hour drive north of Brisbane, just 45 minutes from Noosa and not far down from K'Gari (Fraser Island) and the beautiful Rainbow Beach.
The 20-minute drive from Amamoor is accessible for all vehicle types and includes some dirt road. There’s plenty of signage from the town to the Muster site, so it shouldn’t be too hard finding the location. Please look out for koalas and other local wildlife as Mary Valley is koala country with its breeding season in August.
The line dancing is always a great hit
CAMPING AND ACCOMMODATION
The Gympie Music Muster is famous for being a camping festival. The evening wind down with fellow music lovers is a unique and memorable experience which can be enjoyed even before the festival has begun. The nine nights of camping start on Saturday, 19 August, and are included in the cost of the four-day festival tickets. Early campers are also treated to Pre-Muster entertainment from 19–23 August, before the official start date of the festival on 24 August.
The campground is located in the stunning Amamoor Creek State Forest, just 15km past Amamoor. Please note that all camping sites are unpowered, but you are welcome to bring your own power sources provided they’re not used before 6am or after 10pm. During the festival there is a Muster General Store with all the essentials for campers, including firewood and ice deliveries. There is also a pump out and water top up service that can be booked through the on-site contractor.
If you are wanting to get a kickstart on exploring the Gympie and Sunshine Coast regions before the festival begins, or secure an ideal spot, there is the ‘One and Only Rope-Off’ option. Gympie Muster ticket holders can purchase a camping pass to gain access to the area three weeks before the festival commences, starting at 7am on Monday 5 August. This general camping area is open and available for people to rope-off their chosen 9m x 12m camping spot, either choosing to save their spot or use camp out in anticipation of the event. Please be aware that the camping amenities do not open until 19 August, so you will need to be self-sufficient until then. The Rope-Off is only available to four-day festival ticket holders and a maximum of six adults can occupy a roped off site. These sites cost $220.
If you don’t have your own camping gear, try ‘Banjo’s Tent Motel’, which is a tent motel for a fee (prices vary per site). Banjo’s tents include a canvas floor, lighting, stretcher bed, mattress, linen (sheets, a pillow and blanket), table, chairs, dedicated amenities and a communal mobile recharge station, not to mention breakfast each morning, Thursday through Monday and a free shuttle bus ride to the festival entrance. Up to five people can stay in one tent. It’s advisable to book early, as it’s a popular spot for festival-goers.
Camping in the beautiful Amamoor Creek State Forest
As one of the few events allowed to take place in a wilderness park, the Gympie Music Muster takes pride in respecting the area within which it operates.
Patrons are expected to minimise the festival’s impact by:
• Capturing all recyclable waste materials
• Encouraging the use of recyclable or biodegradable materials by all contractors at on site activities
• Employ practices which minimise waste
• Be mindful and vigilant custodians of this glorious, shared piece of Queensland country.
For the first time ever, the Gympie Music Muster is very excited to announce that all fully paid four-day adult festival ticket holders will be in the draw to win a brand new 17ft NEWGEN N17 Off Road Caravan. For your chance to be in the draw head onto the Gympie Muster website to buy tickets before 13 August 2023, and read the terms and conditions.
Saturday was a great day for relaxing with friends at the 2022 event
The Mary Valley, where the Gympie Music Muster is held, is an area rich with natural wonder, famous for its national parks, rolling hills, bed and breakfasts, farm stays and various outdoor activities. Take your time exploring the country villages of Imbil, Kandanga, Dagun and of course, Amamoor, the home of the Gympie Music Muster. The fertile land grows some of Queensland’s best local produce, which you can taste at the local markets or farmgates.
If you’re interested in spotting the Mary Valley platypus, add the Amama Park Platypus Walk to your itinerary. These small creatures can tend to be a bit shy, but the locals assure visitors they are there, so be patient. Daybreak or dawn are often the best times for spotting them, but no guarantees.
Alternatively, there is another 2.5km circuit walk that winds past streams and cascading waterfalls and will deliver you at the breathtaking Diamondfield Lookout.
Amamoor Homestead & Country Cottages
254 Kandanga Amamoor Road, Amamoor, Queensland
368 Kandanga-Amamoor Road, Amamoor Queensland
Borumba Deer Park
1133 Yabba Creek Road, Imbil Queensland
Bunya Grove Farm Stay
255 Amamoor Creek Road, Amamoor, Queensland
Imbil Camping Retreat
5 Imbil Island Road, Imbil Queensland
Just an hour’s drive away is the beautiful Rainbow Beach and the charming fishing town of Tin Can Bay. Tin Can Bay is a beautiful seaside village that is known for its abundant wildlife, easy atmosphere and magnificent wild-catch seafood straight from the Great Sandy Strait and Pacific Ocean. It’s also one of only two places in Queensland where you can handfeed dolphins.
All kinds of skills are on display in the Newgen Muster Arena
Rainbow Beach is often ranked as one of the best beaches in Australia and is the centre of the town of the same name. The name for the beach comes from its towering sand cliffs with over 72 different colours. The complex array of sandy tones and hues are the result of iron oxide and leached vegetable dyes since the last ice age. 4WD enthusiasts can access Double Island Point and Inskip Point which is the southern gateway to K'Gari (Fraser Island) the world’s largest sand island.
Tin Can Bay Tourist Park
54-74 Trevally Street, Tin Can Bay Queensland
BIG4 Breeze Holiday Parks — Rainbow Beach
308 Carlo Road, Rainbow Beach Queensland
Rainbow Beach Holiday Village
13 Rainbow Beach Road, Rainbow Beach Queensland
Miles and miles of deep blue sky, expansive wide-open spaces, rolling hills and vast amounts of country just about as far as the eye can see in any direction. To the west of Gympie are the quiet villages of Kilkivan and Goomeri, both with their own unique charm and the perfect place to stop on the way to the South Burnett Wine Region.
Kilkivan Bush Camping
577 Rossmore Road, Kilkivan Queensland
Goomeri Caravan and Bush Camp
5939 Wide Bay Highway
And don’t forget to visit Gympie city, the commercial hub and heritage town. Elegant, turnof- the-century buildings and a succession of charming Queenslander homes invoke memories of the town’s golden beginnings. Gympie is said to have saved Queensland from bankruptcy with the discovery of gold in the 1800s. For more goldrush history, you can visit the Gympie Gold Mining Museum.
While you’re there, you must ride one of Queensland’s most iconic heritage steam trains, The Mary Valley Rattler. This widely enjoyed tourist attraction departs from the Gympie railway station and takes you through the spectacular Mary Valley landscape.
Gympie Muster Inn
21 Wickham Street, Bruce Highway, Gympie Queensland
P: 07 5482 8666
Great Eastern Motor Inn
27/29 Geordie Road, Monkland Queensland
Standown Caravan Park
91 Radtke Road, Goomboorian Queensland
YOU HAVE TO BE THERE
So, what are you waiting for? Tickets to this year’s Gympie Music Muster are on sale now! Tickets can be purchased through the festival’s official website: www.muster.com.au.
The Bullride is held on the Saturday and Sunday
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Written: Mon 01 May 2023
Printed: May, 2023